Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Wanted: Quietude 

Sometimes I just hate the suburbs.

Is it wrong of me to wish for one warm, sunny day without the drone of lawnmowers? Is it petty to crave a few hours in my garden without the blare of leaf blowers? Am I wicked for entertaining fantasies of shoving my neighbors’ weed whackers up their collective noses? (Or, more accurately, up the noses of the lawn service guys who seem to show up around the clock in one yard or another?)

All I want is a little freakin’ peace and quiet, for god’s sake! Is that too much to ask?

Did you know that the word “noise” comes from the Latin word “nausea?” That little factoid sure as hell doesn’t surprise me. I totally believe noise can make you sick. Sometimes when I sit in my backyard I can actually feel my blood pressure rising from the surrounding suburban din.

Science has proven that noise can actually change your blood chemistry, raise your blood pressure, and make us anxious, tired, and distracted. (Don’t believe me? See for yourself -- try doing a Google search on “noise and health” -- I am not making this stuff up.)

I am not a noise weenie or anything – I used to live in Center City Philadelphia, and anybody who’s ever lived within city limits is on very familiar terms with noise. The bus brakes squealing, the car doors slamming, the car stereos shaking your pictures off the walls, the police car sirens, the ambulance sirens, the fire truck sirens, the car alarms, the babies crying, the honking horns of irritated drivers, the televisions blaring through open windows, the jack hammers working on the next street over, the snowplows scraping the streets, and let’s not forget the always entertaining neighbor arguments and subsequent makeup sex.

God, I miss the city.
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